Falcons, QB Kirk Cousins put $180M agreement in ink

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Kirk Cousins put pen to paper and celebrated a massive payday, joining the Atlanta Falcons for a fresh start at age 35 on Wednesday as the new NFL league year officially began.

Cousins confirmed earlier Wednesday he was in Atlanta and poised to sign a reported four-year, $180 million deal with $100 million guaranteed with the all-important, prerequisite team physical to be completed before the contract was finalized.

Cousins is recovering from a torn right Achilles, his plant leg when throwing from the pocket, but said in January he’s well down the road to recovery from surgery. His stated expectation is to be on the field during training camp, and he might not have much of an acclimation period in Atlanta’s offense.

Coordinator Zac Robinson runs an offshoot of the Kyle Shanahan/Sean McVay offense and Cousins was on his way to a mastery of a derivative of that scheme last year under McVay disciple Kevin O’Connell with the Vikings.

Another move became official Wednesday for the Falcons. They received the No. 79 pick in the 2024 draft from the Jacksonville Jaguars as final payment in the trade for wide receiver Calvin Ridley.

Atlanta now has four picks in the top 79: 8, 43, 74, 79.

Earlier Wednesday, Cousins wished the Vikings and Minnesota a fond farewell in a video, calling it a “bittersweet day.”

Cousins steps in for a franchise with three consecutive seven-win seasons, leading to a coaching change from Arthur Smith to Raheem Morris.

Smith tried Marcus Mariota, Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinecke but none stabilized the offense in what became a musical chairs position.

Morris and Cousins are acquaintances from their time crossing over in the Washington organization (2012-14 when Morris was defensive backs coach), where Cousins began his career as a backup to Robert Griffin III.

He spent the past six seasons with the Vikings.

He has thrown for 39,471 yards and 270 touchdowns against 110 interceptions for his career.